In May and June 2007, a market survey was carried out with 27 major employers both from the public and private sectors in Singapore, with advice from the NTU Career Attachment Office. These employers included the Ministry of Education, Singapore National Employers Federation, Singapore HR Institute, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Mediacorp, Standard and Poor's, JP Morgan Chase, and Singapore Press Holdings. Of those who responded, an overwhelming majority (93% - 100%) find that graduates who understand the workings of different cultures and languages and who have a global worldview and international experience are valuable assets to their companies. Graduates with multidisciplinary analytical skills, such as graduates of the LMS programme, are certainly thought to be important by the potential employers. It was generally agreed that Linguistics and Multilingual Studies graduates, with their skill sets, are highly employable.
Since the first batch of graduates in 2012, LMS graduates have gone on to work in the following positions:
- Analyst at the National Security Coordination Secretariat
- Teacher/Education Policy Analyst under the Ministry of Education
- Editor at World Scientific Publishing
- Education Therapist at the Dyslexic Association of Singapore
- Foreign service officer/Analyst at the Ministry of Home Affairs
- Information officer at the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts
- Management Associate at the Singapore Tourism Board
- Researcher at the University of Saarland, Germany
- Sales Desk Researchers at Microsoft Singapore
Those who chose to further their studies are now pursuing/have been accepted to graduate school to pursue Linguistics at NTU and University of Colorado Boulder, US; Law at Singapore Management University and Cardozo School of Law, US; Speech Pathology at the National University of Singapore; and Education at the National Institute of Education, NTU.
The list below provides a general overview on possible career opportunities suited to LMS graduates.
- Public relations: The maintenance of the flow of information between an organization and the general publics is a critical part involved in public relations. As our graduates are trained to think critically and analytically with awareness of different cultural and linguistic contexts, our graduates will make perfect candidates for the positions in public relations.
- Marketing and advertising: As LMS graduates are trained to be sensitive to language and cultural nuances, they are sought after in the field of marketing and advertising. For example, companies that name products do extensive linguistic and cultural research on the associations that people make with particular sounds and classes of sounds. A background in LMS qualifies students for this line of work.
- Work in the publishing industry, as a technical writer, or an editor: The verbal and cultural skills that LMS graduates develop are ideal for positions in editing, publishing, and writing.
- Work in education: People with a background in LMS and education develop curricula and materials, train teachers, and design tests and other methods of assessment, especially for language arts and second language learning.
- Teach languages: Training in LMS provides a solid foundation for anyone who is contemplating a career in language teaching. It gives them fundamental training to make cross language comparison to arrive at solutions, a critical aspect in multilingual societies such as Singapore. A degree in LMS is an excellent entry point for a Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
- Work in the computer industry: Linguists and Multilingual experts may work on speech recognition, search engines, and artificial intelligence. Their skills are also required in Internet start-up or e-commerce where expertise in how natural language processing can get systems to respond more meaningful to searches and requests.
- Work as a translator or interpreter: Skilled translators and interpreters are needed everywhere, from government to hospitals to courts of law. For this line of work, a high level of proficiency in the relevant language(s) is necessary, and specialized training is required. LMS can help students understand the issues that arise when a message is communicated from one language to another.
- Work on language documentation or do fieldwork: A number of projects and institutes around the world are looking for linguists and multilingual experts to work with language consultants to document, analyse, and preserve languages (many of which are endangered). Some organisations engage in language-related fieldwork, including documenting endangered languages, conducting language surveys, establishing literacy programmes, and translating documents of cultural heritage.
- Work for a testing agency: LMS graduates can also help prepare and evaluate standardized exams and conduct research on assessment issues. They can be more attuned to problems which are specific to multilingual communities as tests are often designed for more monolingual populations.
- Work with dictionaries (lexicography): Knowledge of phonology, morphology, historical linguistics, dialectology, and sociolinguistics is key to becoming a lexicographer.
- Become a consultant on language in professions such as law or medicine: The subfield of forensic linguistics involves studying the language of legal texts, linguistic aspects of evidence, issues of voice identification, and so on. Law enforcement agencies and police departments, law firms, and the courts hire linguists for these purposes.
- Speech therapist: A linguistics degree is a good preparation for a graduate program in Speech pathology and communication disorders. Students get trained in both the fundamentals of language such as the system of speech sounds and grammar as well as in applied domains such as language disorders, language and the brain and sociolinguistics. Linguistics at NTU qualifies students for a professional degree program.